The University of Pennsylvania's Online Computing Magazine

May 1996  Volume 12:6

[Printout | Contents | Search ]

Peter C. Patton goes to Lawson Software

By ISC Group

Peter C. Patton, Vice Provost for Information Systems and Computing from 1991-96, has left the University to accept the position of Chief Technologist at Lawson Software in Minneapolis. Lawson builds Internet-compliant client/server financial management information systems using relational database management technology. Lawson is also actively exploring parallel processing, Dr. Patton's research speciality.

Under Dr. Patton's leadership, the University consolidated academic and administrative mainframes; launched Project Cornerstone, a multi-year effort to re-engineer business processes, design a new principles-based information architecture, and deploy a new financial management system; developed ResNet, a five-year program to network all residence halls for data, voice, and video; and rolled out several client/server applications. Most recently he co-chaired with Professor James O'Donnell the University-wide Task Force to Restructure Computing Services Across Penn. Professor O'Donnell has been named interim Vice Provost.

Dr. Patton, a technologist and scholar of remarkable breadth and accomplishment, also served the University as Adjunct Professor of Computer Science and Lecturer in Mathematics, served on the SAS committee to establish an undergraduate Ancient Studies curriculum, and participated in the Sumerian dictionary project at the University Museum. He also served as an Adjunct Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Hebrew at a Bible college in Villanova. He holds two patents in the automatic generation of business software applications, is a Chartered Mathematician in the United Kingdom, and a Fellow of the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.

Dr. Patton was recruited to Penn in 1991 from a private consulting practice in which his clients included the National Technology Transfer Center, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the DataQuest division of Dun and Bradstreet. Previously he was founding director of the Minnesota Supercomputer Institute; vice-president and director of the parallel processing architecture program at MCC in Austin, Texas; director of computing at the University of Minnesota where he had faculty appointments in Computer Science, Aerospace Engineering, Ancient Studies, and Classical Civilizations. Peter has also consulted and published widely around the world; he is author of 16 books, monographs and book chapters, and author of 86 journal articles in several research elds. His avocational computing interest is Sumerian lexicography and he will continue as a research colleague of Penn's Sumerian Dictionary Project over the Internet.

Dr. Patton can be contacted via e-mail at

Daniel Updegrove moves to Yale

Daniel A. Updegrove, Associate Vice Provost for Information Systems and Computing and Executive Director of Data Communications and Computing Services (DCCS), has been named University Director of Information Technology at Yale University, effective May 1. At Yale, he will direct a staff of 250 responsible for academic and administrative computing, voice and data communications, printing and reprographics, and the computer store.

Under Mr. Updegrove's leadership, networked computing moved into the mainstream of life at Penn, largely because of his energetic development and advocacy of initiatives designed to transform academic and administrative work. Dan led the effort to wire the residence halls with data, video, and voice (ResNet); promoted the vision of universal access to PennNet and e-mail; launched task forces to design a new network architecture and a distributed computing environment; and was instrumental in developing campus-wide information systems, from PennInfo to the Penn Web. He has also been a tireless contributor to many committees, as well as author or editor of countless documents and articles, many published in Penn Printout.

Mr. Updegrove was recruited from EDUCOM in 1989. As Assistant Vice Provost, Data Administration and Information Resource Planning until 1992, he led efforts to develop an ISC strategic plan, deploy relational database systems campuswide, design a University data model, and upgrade information security.

Outside of Penn, Dan chaired the Board of Directors of PREPnet, the statewide component of the Internet; helped found and direct LibertyNet, a successful community network; and advised the School District of Philadelphia and the Franklin Institute Science Museum. On the national scene, he chaired the CAUSE94 national conference, hosted three CAUSE regional conferences (including one on networked information this May 30-31), and served as local arrangements chair for the upcoming EDUCOM National Conference, October 8-11.

Mr. Updegrove can be contacted via e-mail at